Q. My daughter has a 2-year-old dog whom she crates when she goes to work. She puts him in at 7:30 a.m. and sometimes doesn’t get home until 6:30 or 7 p.m., running errands after work. Is this harmful to her dog?
A. Although many dogs do well in a crate and learn to hold their elimination for long periods of time, this is not ideal for any dog. Eight to nine hours is really the reasonable time frame for a dog to be crated, and hopefully this is not every day.
Your daughter should consider dropping her dog off at a doggie daycare facility, or asking someone (how about yourself?) to go over at noon and let her out.
Extended urine or feces retention can lead to urinary tract problems or constipation, and there is always the possibility of dehydration if water is spilled. Dogs are social creatures who can get lonely and bored just like people. Twelve-hour stretches on a continual basis borders on substandard care.
See if you can help your daughter, financially or otherwise, to get her dog some play time with other dogs, or at least a walk around the block at midday.